Firstly, Albie our Cocker Spaniel saw the postman before me as we left the house. His lead slipped out of my hand and he charged after the man with what sounded like an intention to kill. It was probably a bad day for the postman too!
Then I lost or had stolen, my purse complete with cash, cards, driving license etc at the supermarket (it’s still not been found).
As a result my stressful thinking meant I was late for parents evening and felt like a rubbish mother who was incapable of doing the simplest of things.
When like me, you’re having a bad day, doubting yourself or your insecurities are rampaging, It can be difficult to take action or make decisions.
We all get these low experiences, it’s part of human nature.
So how can you lift yourself back up and have the confidence to move forward?
Well, here are 4 strategies I recommend to help you:
Accept That It’s Okay To NOT Be Okay Sometimes. Tough, unfair things and mistakes do happen in life. There are times when we all feel grief, shame, guilt and failure. Accept that these are human emotions and that it’s okay to feel not okay, it’s okay to feel low and it’s okay to feel uncomfortable. Then treat yourself with compassion knowing that at some point these bad feelings will start to pass.
Take One Tiny Step Forward. You don’t have to make a huge change to start feeling more confident or to overcome your self-doubt. You just need to decide on one tiny positive step and that will begin the shift. Whether it’s writing down your positive achievements, deciding to stop talking negatively about yourself or asking for help. Just one small step at a time will build to a big change.
Keep Present In Today. Assuming that this bad day will mean the rest of your life will be rubbish is untrue and unhelpful. Looking further ahead than the current moment can feel scary and overwhelming when your mood is low. If you can focus on this day or this minute rather than what’s happened in the past or might happen in the future. You will allow your worry to reduce and your mind to clear.
Be Okay With Not Knowing What Others Think. If your self-doubt is driven by worrying about how others maybe judging you or why they’ve said or behaved in a certain way. Then you’re allowing others to control how you feel. Instead accept that you’ll never know exactly what anyone else is thinking and the confident thing to do is assume their thoughts are positive.
I hope you’re having a good day and to improve mine I’d really appreciate you sharing this blog on social media using the buttons below.
Do you like to reflect and think through an opinion before giving it?
Do you feel uncomfortable speaking up in work meetings as you don’t want the focus on you?
These are characteristics of someone who is introverted or shy, but they don’t stop you being a very successful leader.
You may feel nervous in front of a large team meeting or have to push yourself into dealing with a conflict situation, but you’ve been given your leadership role for a reason.
It might be that you really know your stuff, that you collaborate really well or manage projects successfully. Don’t let the fact your natural personality is different from others hold you back.
What Strategies Can Help You Demonstrate Your Leadership Abilities?
Take Time Out – There are times when you’ll need to show you have the passion and enthusiasm to lead a team. This might require you to turn up the dial of your energy and personality so, make sure you have time before and after to recharge by being alone
Have 1:1 Meetings – Being an introverted or shy personality means you’re more suited to individual meetings where you can build good rapport. Your comfortable relationship with each team member will then carry over into larger team meetings
Get a mentor or role model – In many organisations the ‘loud and proud’ leadership style is most prevalent but not necessarily the best. Look out for the quieter confidence of some leaders and use them as a role model or mentor
Play To Your Strengths – Introverts and people who are shy come with other strengths to add to a team, such as; self-awareness, collaboration and creative thinking. Use your strengths to demonstrate your leadership style
Be Authentic – These suggestions don’t mean you shouldn’t speak up or be assertive and directive. Just do them in your own style rather than trying to fake the traditional stereotype of a leader.
The tradition of making new year resolutions has a well documented history. For example the Babylonians made promises at the start of the year to their gods to pay their debts and return borrowed items.
Today 40 to 50% of us still make them. What I find interesting is that any new resolutions made at the start of the year are 10 times more likely to be achieved than those made at other times of the year.
What are you planning to change this year?
The most common promises that are made at new year are:
To donate to charities more often
Try to become more assertive
Strive to be more environmentally responsible
Improve physical well-being: eat healthy food, lose eight, exercise more, eat better, drink less alcohol, quit smoking, get rid of old bad habits
Improve mental well-being: think positive, laugh more often, enjoy life
Progress career: perform better at current job, get a better job
The most common goals that my clients have are:
Stop worrying what others think
Improve visibility and recognition in their career
Believe in their abilities
Not be held back by self-doubts
Deal with conflict and difficult relationships
Do any of those resonate with you?
I’m a big fan of setting goals and personal development but, do remember that although they’ll give you a short term buzz. They won’t give you the happiness, fulfilment and contentment that you maybe expecting.
Those feelings are already inside you and you don’t need to find anything on the outside to connect with them. Then improving yourself feels light hearted and enjoyable.
I have my own goals around my fitness and business growth this year and know that whatever happens with those goals I’m still okay as the SAME ME!
If one of your goals this year is about improving your confidence in your career or your life and you’d like support to ensure you can achieve your results then do get in touch for a free Discovery Call with me by email or book a call at www.speakwithjo.com
My fabulous clients put in real commitment to make huge changes in their careers and lives and as a result achieve amazing results.
Today I wanted to share with you (with her permission) a client’s story which I find inspiring and I’m sure you will too.
Amanda is a senior manager in the NHS, working in 2 different roles along with managing family life.
Like many of us she had achieved career success but still expected herself to be better, to achieve even more and not to struggle with worry or stress.
“I was overwhelmed by work pressure and feeling out of control. I felt I was failing in one of my jobs, and was trying to decide if I should just leave, and though happy in the other role spent many out of hours time worrying about the work.
I came to coaching with an aim to decide whether to leave one job, and ended with a whole new perspective.
Jo gave me increased confidence but more importantly my sense of self. She helped me practice kindness to myself when things were tough which meant I approached the challenges calmly and objectively and performed more effectively.
She also helped me think more clearly about what I want. We worked together to help me to go after my long term goals and I achieved such change in the 3 months. I’m not leaving either job immediately but am making plans for a new and exciting project in research.
Its been 3 months since I finished the programme and I continue to see the results daily. I am more confident and put myself in more challenging situations, but also have stopped needing to be ‘perfect’ and ask for help when I need it.
Because of Jo I am presenting at my professional conference, I have just had my appraisal and got ‘excellent’ across all areas, and I am driving change.
Most importantly my anxiety around work is considerably reduced, my work life balance is better because I don’t spend time out of work worrying and I’m taking better care of myself
I found the programme structure really constructive – Jo helped me evaluate the areas I wanted to change and made gradual steps over the three months towards this.
I found the weekly calls gave me a chance to reflect and review work, and with Jo I was able to see my work behaviours more clearly – the ones that were useful and the ones that were not!
It helped setting specific goals, but the programme was flexible enough to adapt to change and different priorities along the way.
Three words that describes Jo’s coaching style: Empathetic, proactive, creative.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Jo to any woman who wants to make change at work. Be it simply making work more enjoyable or if you want to go after big dreams.
I am in no doubt I wouldn’t have made such progress this year without Jo’s coaching.”
A fabulous story I’m sure you’ll agree – it’s amazing how a few key insights into your career and mindset can change everything in such a short time.
If you’d like to make big change in your career mindset and performance or work/life balance do get in touch. You can book a free call at www.speakwithjo.com
Christmas is getting close now and can you feel your blood pressure rising and your chest tightening?
It’s that time of year when we’re filled with holiday cheer but also a dose of arrangement anxiety and turkey tension.
How can you ensure you enjoy the festivities without a rollercoaster of last minute preparation and family feuds?
Here are 5 things you don’t have to worry about this Christmas:
Pre-preparing – Let go of control. We can control a lot less in life than we think we can. Relinquish the need to plan life to the finest detail and therefore setting yourself up for upset when reality and relatives don’t live up. Relax and enjoy, what ever happens you’ve got it!
Turkey tension – Do you fear failure? We all fail. No one has a 100% success rate. It’s about living and trying things, experiencing life, being your potential, taking a risk, having a go and learning. Do you only play to win? What if it was a learning curve that guaranteed a life well lived?
People pleasing – yes we all want to give generously and make others happy. But when your focus is on trying to gain acceptance and strive for compliments you put your power in the hands of others. Be your own validator.
Not having enough – we have a lot more than we need but we always want more. Try to develop an abundance mindset. In the big picture no one ever says; “if only I’d got that Mulberry handbag, life would have been so much better” Or maybe you do!
Looking good – None of us is happy with the shape we are in. Big bum, bad skin, sagging jaw, lumpy nose, hair in places we never imagined it could grow we’re all insecure about something. Accept yourself and focus on being healthy. One day you’ll look back and wished you looked like you do now.
Would you like to give yourself the Xmas gift of a Confident 2019? Then don’t miss out on working with me.
I only take on 3 new clients a month and as you’d expect the New Year is a busy time. So do get in touch or book a free Discovery Call for the New Year on my online calendar at www.speakwithjo.com
Wishing you a stress free Xmas and a confident 2019
Even though women today are in leadership positions they never dreamed of being in 60 years ago. Women still have challenges when a they are a leader in a male-dominated industry.
More and more women are making moves into positions historically dominated by men and finding that the higher they climb the more alone as a woman they are.
In these traditional occupations such as; Finance, Law, Tech and STEM industries, women face the challenge that they stand out more as a women amongst many men. However, they can also be less visible being ignored, interrupted or excluded in the male environment.
If you’re a female leader, especially in one of these industries then these tips will help you rise above some of your challenges.
Create Alliances With Decision Makers
My clients come to me because they’ve been put down, pushed aside, or overlooked. It’s not easy to feel you’ve been undervalued. I suggest to these female leaders that they start to build healthy relationships with advocates, colleagues, mentors and other decision makers.
By creating these alliances you will have support when you’re in the room and someone speaking up for you when you’re not.
2. Find Your Confidence
If you’ve been placed in a leadership role, then those higher than you saw something of value that you have to offer.
Armed with the assurance of knowing you earned the role you’re in. Speak confidently and make decisive choices. Don’t work so hard at pleasing others that you let them walk all over you.
Tackle any Imposter Syndrome by making accurate assessments of your performance and asking for feedback to back it up
3. Overcome your Perfectionism
Research has shown that women are more risk averse than men and as a result often want to ensure everything is perfect to avoid failure.
However, many of the female leaders I coach get paralysed by their perfectionist tendencies. It causes them to procrastinate or totally avoid making a decision.
Physically walking away from the problem if you are stuck and focus on another task until your mind has calmed and they have the intuition to move forward.
4. Handle Inappropriate Behaviour
What is unacceptable behaviour to one person is not to another, so it’s important you have identified what your personal boundaries are around how colleagues or clients behave towards you.
Whether it is harassment, bullying, inappropriate comments or exclusion, by men or women. Are you prepared to speak up, call it out or make a complaint?
Many female leaders find it scary and uncomfortable to speak up. however, communicating to others when they breach your boundaries is important not just as a principle but also to maintain your self-worth and self-respect.
5. Trust Your Own Voice
Have you ever had the thought “Who am I to…?” It’s a question that regularly crops up when I talk to clients about what holds them back from speaking up.
Remember that you are one of the most successful, wealthy, educated women on this planet and you have been given your role for a reason. Trust and use your voice.
If you’re looking to feel recognised, valued and fulfilled at work. Then I’d love to share with you some strategies that are specific to your career needs and that will have a huge impact on your career.
Use This Personality Test For Ideas On Careers, Relationships And Friends
I use a personality test with many of my clients when we are building their self-awareness.
I’ve found it helps them understand more about ‘why they behave like they do’ and gives suggestions of potential careers that would suit them.
The Meyers-Briggs test is a well-known personality test that’s used by a lot of corporate companies. It’s based on Carl Jung’s Four Colour Energies and was developed by the mother and daughter partnership of Katherine Briggs and Isabel Briggs-Meyer.
Like every test the results aren’t completely accurate and you’ll find there are parts of the description that you’ll disagree with.
There are 16 different personality types based on 4 pairs of descriptions and the test aligns you to one of the descriptions in each pair. Making the final description 4 letters long
For example I came out as an ‘Entertainer’ ESFP and after reading the description I could definitely see some of my character traits. Things like; being people and feelings focused and not planning past the now and short-term pleasures.
Then there were other bits I couldn’t totally see in myself though, such as; being utterly social and all the world is my stage??!!
Here’s a simple explanation of the 4 pairs of preferences
People and things (Extraversion or “E”), or ideas and information (Introversion or “I”).
Facts and reality (Sensing or “S”), or possibilities and potential (Intuition or “N”).
Logic and truth (Thinking or “T”), or values and relationships (Feeling or “F”).
A lifestyle that is well-structured (Judgment or “J”), or one that goes with the flow (Perception or “P”).
When my first marriage broke up I told myself that marriages only fail if you’re a failure or you haven’t been good enough.
Where I got this story from I’m not sure. It could be the fact that no one in my extended family had ever been divorced (that’s not true any more)!
Holding onto this story had a huge impact on my confidence and self-esteem. It meant that for a long time I only dated men that were unlikely to commit. I didn’t feel worthy of a committed relationship or able to trust again.
With time I was able to challenge this story and recognised that of course it wasn’t true and question why I ever believed it. As a result I am now very happily married.
The same is true of the stories we tell ourselves in other areas of our lives such as our body image and our careers.
I worked with a client recently who was intimidated around senior male leaders. Despite usually being assertive when interacting with male directors she crumbled and became a ‘yes’ woman.
With some digging we discovered that from her early traditional childhood she’d told herself the story that to get love and approval from dominant males you had to be subservient and respectful.
Once she recognised this behaviour and the story behind it she was able to make the mindset shift to start and change her responses.
There are many stories however illogical that we tell ourselves and you might recognise some of these:
“It’s not worth the struggle as a woman to climb the career ladder so I’ll quit now”
“Being overweight means people judge and don’t trust you”
“It’s not nice as a woman to be ambitious”
“If I could just … (stop drinking, exercise more, get a promotion, move house) life would be perfect”
“Everyone else finds life easier than me”
“Xmas needs to be perfect!”
Recognise the tall tale you’re telling yourself and find evidence to disprove it. Then you’ll have the freedom to behave in a way that boosts rather than drains your confidence.
If you’d like to discover the hidden stories you’re telling yourself to enable you to break free ,then send me an email or book a free call at www.speakwithjo.com. I’d love to speak to you.
I’m sure we can all think of someone we know who just seems to ooze confidence. Who seems comfortable in all situations and doesn’t appear to be nervous or self-doubting.
What is it that determines how confident a person is?
Confidence is multifactorial. The biggest influencers on your confidence levels are; your genetics, your upbringing and experiences, and the choices you make.
That means if you choose to take steps out of your comfort zone, if you challenge yourself and see life as a learning process you CAN build your confidence levels.
In the 10+ years I’ve been researching and studying successful and confident women I’ve been able to identify specific behaviours they avoid.
They don’t try to please everyone all the time. Being kind and thoughtful is obviously important. But ignoring your own wants and needs to keep others happy will only knock your self-esteem and confidence. It might feel easier and quicker to say yes but tune into your intuition and identify what you want, feel or need.
They don’t worry about things that are out of their control. Rather than ‘what if’ worrying about the future or being anxious about experiences in the past, which they can’t change. Confident and courageous people focus on the present and on things which are within their circle of influence. Next time you’re in a worry spiral ask yourself can I do anything helpful about this? If not let it go.
They don’t avoid new and challenging opportunities. This doesn’t mean they don’t have self-doubts or feel nervous, everyone does at times. They have the courage though to know whatever happens they can deal with it. Be curious about new opportunities that come up and be brave enough to say yes.
They don’t get stuck on self-pity. Like all of us they do sometimes feel sorry for themselves. However, even when life feels unfair they don’t get stuck in victim mode and keep looking for who or what they can blame. Instead they take responsibility for discovering how they can move forward. Do you feel that life is unfair and it’s not your fault? You might be absolutely right at this moment but don’t let that stop you from looking forward optimistically
They don’t spend time with negative people. Confident women realise how draining these people can be that constantly complain or see the negative side of life. They surround themselves with friends and colleagues who leave them feeling positive and energised. Take the time to reflect on the people you interact with regularly. Are any of them drains rather than radiators? Consider how you can reduce the time you spend around them.
They don’t need others approval. We all like to receive positive feedback sometimes, but confident women have enough self-belief and trust to make their own decisions and stand by them. Ask yourself is your need for approval meaning you put others needs before yours?
That’s a lot to take in and might feel overwhelming so, choose one behaviour you’re going to change and plan one action you can make to help you.
If you’d like to fast track boosting your career confidence ready for 2019 then I have an amazing Career Strategy Intensive Day that is perfect for you.
Work with me for an intensive day and the month following it to transform your career so you feel recognised, valued and rewarded.
Have you ever thought that you’d rather die than speak in public?
Well, you’re not alone a poll of 2000 people on the top things they were scared of scored a fear of death as lower than a fear of public speaking.
Most people don’t feel brave enough to show their vulnerability in front of others. They focus more on what other people think of them than the message they want to communicate.
Wanting validation from others makes us their prisoner, we’re using their judgement to determine our worth. But, other people’s opinions and thoughts are influenced by what is happening for them in that moment or their experiences in the past. We can’t control their thoughts, so why give them the power over the way we feel?
When I talk to clients about why they have a fear of public speaking they usually come up with one of these fears:
I’ll forget what I wanted to say and look stupid
I’ll be so nervous everyone will be able to tell
My voice will tremble, my body shake and I’ll go red due to nerves
I’ll be boring
Why would they want to hear from me?
I’ll say the wrong thing and they’ll think I’m stupid
This fear is known as glossophobia ( yes it has a real name!)
Studies estimate that 75% of people suffer anxiety and nervousness when speaking in public. It’s often related to a traumatic experience in childhood or early adulthood. There is also thought to be a genetic and environmental link.
What can I do about my fears?
The place to start overcoming a fear of public speaking is by identifying the experience that triggered your fear. Did you get humiliated in class when you read or was your first experience of presenting so bad you’ve never tried again?
Perhaps you’ve never actually spoken in public because your imagination has created such a scary ‘what if’ scenario that you won’t even try.
Once you’ve got clarity on the trigger episode (not everyone has one) then you can challenge that belief.
Our behaviours are often driven by beliefs we have about ourselves and the world. If you’ve picked up the message that you’re no good at presenting or that everyone will know your nervous, then you’ll carry that belief with you and look for evidence to reinforce it.
To challenge that belief you can:
Look for evidence to disprove it. For example when you’ve talked to a group in a safer environment
Recognise that having that belief isn’t working for you and make the proactive choice to build confidence in public speaking
Replace that belief with a new one. For example “I’ve never presented before and it might not be as scary as I imagine” or “Although I’ve found public speaking difficult before it is a skill I can learn”
Once you’ve dealt with those ‘gremlins’ that hold you back you can start to look at practical tips to help build your confidence.
How can I cope with my Fear Of Public speaking?
Don’t Fight The Fear – The physical reaction you have to being nervous – shaking, blushing, dry mouth etc are all a response to the adrenaline released in a ‘fight or flight’ situation. Your mind thinks it’s under threat and reacts to prepare you to run or fight. Don’t take this as a sign that you are gong to be rubbish or look stupid. It’s simply your bodies physiological response and it will pass. Rather than fighting the feelings the less attention you put on them the quicker they will settle
Prepare and Practice – Most of us don’t have the natural ability to ‘wing’ a presentation so preparation and practice are essential. Practise several times and have a dry run in front of a friend or video yourself. It will definitely make you less self-conscious on the day. Remember that practise doesn’t make perfect though. You will make mistakes and that’s completely normal
It’s All About Them Not You – When we’re feeling anxious and nervous we tend to focus on ourselves. How am I feeling? What might I do wrong? Why do I always get so nervous? If you can shift your focus to the audience not only does it calm your nerves but it will lead to a better performance. Consider what your audience want to her and what they want to take away from the talk. How will that make them feel or how will it make their work/life better? Get excited about what you have to share with them
Listen to your breathing – You’ll probably have heard this before but being mindful of your breathing is one of the most effective ways to cope with a fear of public speaking. close your eyes and observe your breathing for a minute then visualise yourself standing confidently in front of your audience, really look into the picture and notice how relaxed you are. Do this for 1 to 2 minutes and your breathing will slow. Then you are calmly ready to speak
Be aware of your body language – Research has shown that having a powerful body language not only gives a confident message to your audience but actually results in changes to your brain chemistry that makes you feel more confident. I’m not suggesting standing in a wonder woman pose but do open up your body position, stand tall with your head up and hands by your side initially and don’t forget to smile!
Whether you’re doing an important presentation at work or a thank you at a party remember nerves are normal and not always a bad thing.